March marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and harvest time in the southern hemisphere. Both call for celebration!
Here are five travel destinations that have so much fun to celebrate in March that you’ll have no shortage of interesting places you could pack your bags and go this March.
One of the world’s premier wine regions, Mendoza attracts connoisseurs for its grape harvest (vendimia). Although festivities actually begin on the last Sunday in February with The Blessing of the Fruits, most of the events for the National Grape Harvest Festival of Argentina take place the first weekend in March.
At 9 p.m. on the first Friday, watch the Via Blanca de las Reinas, a parade featuring the harvest queens from each of the 18 regions of Mendoza. The following morning, a second parade, the Carrusel de Vendimia, adds gauchos (Argentinian cowboys) and people in traditional dress to the previous night’s parade. Pack a collapsible basket to catch produce thrown from the floats.
On Saturday night, make sure you have tickets to Acto Central, a glitzy production celebrating wine with more than 1,000 actors and dancers. During any free time, enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere or visit 1,200 regional fincas (wineries), many of which have their own harvest activities.
Spain’s third largest city is also home to one of its more unique festivals, Las Fallas. The 19-day gala dates back to Medieval times, when carpenters would burn pieces of wood used to prop their lights during winter. Eventually, they transformed the wood piles into elaborately decorated monuments or fallas.
Celebrations kick off March 1 with the Mascletà, a daytime firework display with often colorful smoke held daily for all 19 days. Beginning March 15 through the 19th, you can also see nighttime firework displays. Throw a pair of earplugs into your luggage for these shows.
On March 15, workers begin construction on roughly 800 fallas, which need to be completed by dawn the following morning. Grab a map to see the completed structures over the next few days before The Cremà on March 19 when, starting at 10 p.m., the fallas are set on fire.
Throughout India, Hindus celebrate Holi, the ancient “festival of colors,” in March. Commemorating the destruction of a demoness named Holika by Lord Vishnu, Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in March with crowds throwing colorful powder and water on each other. In 2020, Holi is March 19, and in 2021 it falls on March 29.
Holi can get very rowdy, especially later in the day as partiers become intoxicated. Women should never attend on their own (sexual assaults have been known to occur), and Western tourists are better off celebrating at local hotels, many of which throw Holi parties, or attending as part of an organized tour group.
In Dublin, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just one day; it’s a five-day celebration of all things Irish beginning on March 13. During that time, the city, tourism board and department of culture sponsor hundreds of events throughout Dublin, including musical performances, tours and family-friendly events.
Festivities culminate on March 17. Start the day at the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which runs from near St. Mary’s Place to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, at 11 a.m. (Stake out a spot early on O’Connell Street for the best viewing.) Continue the party in the Temple Bar district with a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jamieson whiskey.
You’ll want to always be wearing green, so consider filling a Pack-It Cube with green shirts and accessories.
All of Japan celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival or Sakura Matsuri. Full blossom is expected in Tokyo on March 27, 2020, but several festivals kick off earlier. The Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival at Ueno Park, showcasing more than 1,200 trees, runs from March 19 to April 5 and is one of the most popular. Picnic during the day or come at night when the trees are illuminated.
Or, take a river cruise under the blossoms on the Meguro River during the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival. The Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival at Chidorigafuchi Park lets you rent row boats to navigate the moat of Edo castle, where you’ll see pink blooms along the bank.
Bloom comes earlier to some parts of Japan and later to others—earlier in the month you can see the blossoms south of Tokyo, or stay late to see those north of the city.
World travel is good for your soul, so no matter where you head this year, adventure awaits .
Gear Warrior Convertible Carry-On
Pack-It Specter Tech Cube Set
Tarmac AWD Carry-on
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
16 Unforgettable Things to Do in Dublin
6 Way to Explore Tokyo Like a Local
What to Pack for India: The Five-Step Solution
Outdoor Adventures in Mendoza, Argentina